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Full text of "I And Thou"

of its immediacy. Love itself cannot persist in the
immediacy of relation; love endures, but in the inter-
change of actual and potential being. Every Thou in
the world is enjoined by its nature to become a thing
for us, or at all events to re-enter continually the
condition of things.

Only in one, all-embracing relation is potential still
actual being. Only one Thou never ceases by its nature
to be Thou for us. He who knows God knows also very
well remoteness from God, and the anguish of barrenness
in the tormented heart; but he does not know the
absence of God: it is we only who are not always
there.

The lover in the Vita Nuova rightly and properly
says for the most part Ella and only at times Vti.
The spectator of the Paradiso, when he says Colui,
speaks from poetic necessity, and knows it. If God is
addressed as He or It, it is always allegorically. But
if we say Thou to Him, then mortal sense has set the
unbroken truth of th0 world into a word.

Every real relation in the world is exclusive, the
Other breaks in on it and avenges its exclusion. Only
in the relation with God are unconditioned exclusiveness
and unconditioned inclusiveness one and the same,
in which the whole universe is implied.
Every real relation in the world rests on individuation,
this is its joy—for only in this way is mutual knowledge
of different beings won—and its limitation—for in this
way perfect knowledge and being known are foregone.
But in the perfect relation my Thou comprehends but is
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